Scream 2 (1997)

With “Scream 2” you can pretty much sense Craven and writer Williamson struggling to create a sense of atmosphere that they did with the original. And the movie series that claims to dodge the slasher clichés while also mocking them, eventually became so clustered with attempts to bring audiences a new experience they pretty much relied on clichés and a formula they streamlined in the original. We have someone offed in the beginning, we introduce the old cast, we get to meet a new cast of characters, someone is killing the cast members, Sydney has to find out who or whom is doing the killings, a load of red herrings are thrown at the audience, there’s the obligatory thought that perhaps one of the original three cast members are behind it, and then there is the grand stand off in the climax where we’re given a bunch of “gotchas!” Officers and all authorities are also immensely useless.

That is until the big reveal where we’re given two villains who each have rather lengthy monologues about their master plan sans looking in to the camera to giggle. Meanwhile Craven and Williamson try to twist a plot twist they stole off of a movie that used the plot twist to a higher degree by offing Sarah Michelle Gellar instead of Drew Barrymore in the beginning of the movie. So rather than seeing ET’s friend being killed, Craven tries to destroy our love for Gellar who at the time was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a popular cult icon. While the irony is never quite noted, it’s pretty obvious what Craven is trying to pull from the get go and never succeeds as well as he tries to. In the same vein Craven and Williamson basically regurgitate the same horror tropes we’ve seen time and time again while pulling off the same observations we’ve seen time and time again, with the illusion that he’s been here first and we’re privileged for having seen him acknowledge something that’s been acknowledged over a hundred times since the seventies.

Craven was an auteur of horror and here he’s merely the Tarantino wannabe who recalls better horror films while presenting an amalgam of keen observations we never heard on film. Why do the minority characters always get offed first? Most importantly why is the genre predominantly white? Don’t you notice how the sequels are better than the originals most times? Original. “Scream 2” feels like a pastiche of disconnected horror sequences and dialogue pasted together primarily to deliver a half baked sequel that does nothing more than prey upon the memory of the original film and has no faith in delivering a punch of its own, thus it’s a bland limp sequel that fails to follow the act of the charismatic first film. Offering no scares, no excitement, and no creativity, Craven’s follow up to his massively successful horror comedy is a bust, ultimately as a long in the tooth and overwrought sequel that harps on the same observations we’ve seen doled out repeatedly for general audience sake, and it a weak link an otherwise trite series of films.